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Bryzgalov has Coyotes climbing in West

by John Kreiser /
When Ilya Bryzgalov is hot, the Phoenix Coyotes are among the NHL's best teams -- and for the last week or so, Bryzgalov has been red-hot.

The Coyotes have won their last four games, with Bryzgalov in goal for all four. The first two were shutouts, the next two were 3-2 victories, an overtime win at Dallas and a shootout victory against Chicago on Saturday night.

Bryzgalov was perfect in the shootout, but he made one of the saves of the year in OT when he robbed Chicago's Patrick Kane on a 2-on-0 break. It was the last of the 98 saves he's made on the 102 shots he's made during the Coyotes' unbeaten run.

Five up — Five players who've been hot:

Patrick Kane
-- He may not have beaten Bryzgalov in OT on Saturday, but Kane had a terrific week during the Hawks' week on the road. Kane scored 4 goals and added 3 assists for 7 points in four games. He has 10 points in Chicago's six games since the All-Star break.

Michael Grabner -- The waiver-wire pickup continues to light up the scoreboard for the New York Islanders. He scored five times and added an assist in three games last week while going plus-6 -- and became the second rookie to reach the 20-goal mark this season.

Teemu Selanne -- The NHL's ageless wonder continues to fuel the surprising Anaheim Ducks. At age 40, Selanne had a goal and 3 assists in the Ducks' 5-4 overtime win on Friday after getting a pair of assists in a win at Vancouver. He has 11 points in six games and 52 in 47 games this season.

Mikael Samuelsson -- The veteran forward has been arguably the NHL's hottest player since the All-Star break. He had a pair of two-goal games for Vancouver last week and is 5-5-10 in the Canucks' five games this month.

Curtis Glencross -- Calgary played four games last week, and Glencross had a goal in all four. He's already surpassed his career high with 17, and he's a big reason the Flames have climbed back into the playoff race in the West.

Five down — Five players who are struggling:

Phil Kessel -- Toronto acquired him to score goals, but Kessel continues to struggle offensively. He didn't score in Saturday's 3-0 loss at Montreal, extending his goal drought to 14 games.

Jay Bouwmeester -- The Calgary Flames thought Bouwmeester would put up solid offensive numbers when they traded for him at the 2009 Entry Draft. It hasn't happened -- he's got 12 games without a point and is on pace for just 22, down from 29 last season and 42 in 2008-09 with Florida.

J-P Dumont -- After getting 5 goals in two games in mid-January, Dumont's stick has gone cold again. He's gone nine games without a goal and eight without a point -- and has seen his ice time cut sharply as a result.

James Neal -- Neal scored his 20th goal of the season for Dallas on Jan. 20, had an assist in the Stars' next game against Vancouver -- and has gone pointless since then despite averaging more than 18 minutes of ice time.

Andrei Kostitsyn -- Kostitsyn and linemates Scott Gomez and Lars Eller all went minus-4 in Montreal's midweek 8-6 loss at Boston. Kostitsyn has now gone six games without a point and is minus-6 in that span.

Injuries, news and notes -- With a contract and a work visa in hand, Peter Forsberg made his return to the NHL on Friday night when he played more than 17 minutes in Colorado's 3-1 loss at Columbus. It was his first NHL game since the end of the 2007-08 season; he hasn’t played since while trying to come back from a succession of foot problems.

Out -- The Islanders' goalie problems continued when rookie Kevin Poulin, who had become the starter due to injuries, dislocated his left kneecap -- ending his season. They also lost forward Jeremy Colliton for at least another week with a rib injury. … New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur sat out last week after injuring his knee on Sunday. … Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson is out for another week or two with back problems. Defenseman Matt Carkner missed Saturday's game with a lower-body injury, while forward Jesse Winchester sat out with a lower-body injury. … Vancouver lost defenseman Dan Hamhuis with a concussion on Wednesday. He's out indefinitely. … Buffalo defenseman Steve Montador is out with concussion-like symptoms. … The injury-riddled Penguins, who literally called up a busload of replacements from their AHL farm team, lost one of them when Dustin Jeffrey went down with a lower-body injury on Thursday -- he was placed on IR. Another call-up, Eric Tangradi, left Friday's game with concussion-like symptoms. … Montreal defenseman Hal Gill missed the Canadiens' last two games with an upper-body injury. … Toronto forward Colby Armstrong missed the Leafs' last two games blurred vision. … Calgary's Alex Tanguay sat out games Friday and Saturday with a sprained neck. … Chicago put center Ryan Johnson (upper body) on IR after he was injured Friday night. Forwards Viktor Stalberg and Fernando Pisani also left the game at Dallas with upper-body injuries. … Colorado lost defenseman Kyle Cumiskey (head) and forward T.J. Galiardi (wrist) on Wednesday. Captain Adam Foote (foot) has missed the Avs' last three games.

Returning -- Anaheim activated goaltender Jonas Hiller after he missed a week with fatigue and light-headedness. … Columbus forward Ethan Moreau (broken ribs) should be back this week. … Atlanta got a boost with the return of defenseman Tobias Enstrom who played Friday after missing six games with a broken finger. … Phoenix got help on the blue line when Ed Jovanovski returned Saturday after missing more than a week with a lower-body injury.

Still out — Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin is gone for the season after undergoing knee surgery last week. … Rangers captain Chris Drury had arthroscopic knee surgery Friday and will be out for six weeks. … Dallas placed forward Krys Barch (eye) on IR. Another Dallas forward, Adam Burish, had facial surgery after being injured on Feb. 3. … Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, still sidelined after sports hernia surgery, hopes to begin skating this week. … Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki (lower body) returned and dressed for Tuesday's game but missed the next two when the injury flared up again.

The week ahead
-- The NHL goes back outdoors on Sunday with the return of the Heritage Classic. Montreal, which took part in the NHL's first outdoor game in Edmonton in 2003, is the visiting team once again -- this time in Calgary, where about 40,000 fans will pack McMahon Stadium for the 6 p.m. ET start.

Games to watch:

Washington at Phoenix (Feb. 14) -- Alex Ovechkin makes only the third visit of his career to the desert; the first one back in 2006 produced one of the great highlight-reel goals of his career.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay (Feb. 15)
-- The Flyers kick off a busy week with their second visit to the St. Pete Times Forum this month. They hope it goes better than the first one -- the Bolts won 4-0 on Feb. 1.

Minnesota at Chicago (Feb. 16) -- The Wild were the last visitors to the United Center before the All-Star break, and they'll be the guests on Wednesday when the Hawks play their first home game since the break after a six-game trip.

Washington at San Jose (Feb. 17) -- San Jose comes home after a seven-game road trip to face Ovechkin and the Caps.

Philadelphia at New York Rangers (Feb. 20) -- The Flyers complete their busy week with a visit to Madison Square Garden that will be part of NBC's coverage of Hockey Day in America.

Tough week ahead:

Dallas Stars -- The Stars have had some struggles at home, so maybe a week in Western Canada will turn out to be a good thing. They have back-to-back games in Edmonton and Calgary before finishing the week with a visit to Vancouver.

Philadelphia Flyers -- The Flyers work their way up the East Coast this week, starting down South with games at Tampa Bay and Florida and continuing with a stop in Carolina before finishing with a Sunday matinee against the Rangers in New York.

Washington Capitals
-- It's a hectic week for the Caps, who visit Phoenix, Anaheim and San Jose in a four-night stretch before coming East for a Sunday afternoon game in Buffalo.

Easy week ahead:

Chicago Blackhawks -- After two weeks on the road, the Hawks are back at the United Center this week for games with Minnesota, Columbus and Philadelphia.

Edmonton Oilers
-- The Oilers get a variety of opponents in their three home games this week, with Dallas, Montreal and Atlanta coming to Rexall Place.

Tampa Bay Lightning
-- The Bolts' 12-game homestand rolls on, with Philadelphia, Detroit and Florida on this week's list of visitors.

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